Ahead of the 2015 World Tuberculosis Day which is usually mark on March 24 of every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on all countries to support a new 20-year strategy which aims to end the global tuberculosis epidemic by 2035.
This decision was reached at a World Health Assembly conference convened by WHO in Geneva, in May 2014 to adopt a post-2015 strategy with an ambitious target of ending the disease by 2035.It will be recalled that the eradication of TB was one of the MDGs which was not achieved in 2015.Thus, the emergence of the new strategy.
According to a press release from WHO, the strategy aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95% and to cut new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035, and to ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB. It sets interim milestones for 2020, 2025, and 2030.
Worried by the prevalence of the disease, the WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, said the ailment has devastating economic consequences for affected families, reducing their annual income by an average of 50%, and aggravating existing inequalities.
“This is a matter of social justice, fundamental to our goal of universal health coverage. Each and every man, woman or child with TB should have equal, unhindered access to the innovative tools and services they need for rapid diagnosis, treatment and care”.
Hence, the call for new commitments and new action in the global fight against tuberculosis – one of the world’s top infectious killers.